FACILITY MANAGEMENT DILEMA SOLVED IN SNOW COUNTRY

Facility managers are confronted with a myriad of maintenance challenges and tasks on a daily basis managing properties in snow country, specifically, roofs!

ICE DAM PREVENTION GUIDE

Roofs can be especially challenging in a freeze and thaw environment. One of the biggest challenges on roofs in snow country are the formation of ice dams and icicles. All types of risks surround ice build-up:

ICICLES:

  1. Icicles breaking off unexpectedly like an oversized harpoon over walkways, building entrances, garage access points, patio decks with hot tubs, grills, furniture, windows, etc.

ICEDAMS:

  1. Ice Dams prevent snow melt water from reaching the ground. Since roofs were designed to shed water and not hold it, pooled water behind rapidly growing ice dams on roof edges always seek the path of least resistance. This path is most often between and beneath shingles and seams on a metal roof. This path quickly finds its way between walls, into ceiling insulation where the result is dangerous mold, rot, and mildew. Health risks are a liability. Restoration costs can be prohibitive.

There are many traditional and/or band-aid approaches used in attempts to mitigate roof ice problems. These approaches represent a never ending and ongoing effort and expense. Such approaches include laying a heat cable on a roof edge in a zig-zag pattern, socks filled with calcium chloride, roof rakes, high pressure washers, shovels and piks, etc. The principal issue with all of these approaches is that they are heavily flawed and/or represent a never ending expense throughout the winter seasons.

The principal key towards any successful roof ice mitigation effort is to identify a concept/system that is capable of heating 100% of a roof edge and/or valleys, drip lines, etc. 100% of a roof edge is the operative phrase since icicles and ice dams can develop anywhere on a roof edge.   The most popular concept listed above as a traditional approach is NOT able to heat 100% of a roof edge, hence, ice problems persist. Many companies do offer systems that can heat 100% of the roof edge.   Like all products, there are always pros and cons to each of them.   Criteria most important when selecting a roof ice melt system is to check whether a “system” is an accredited system, i.e. UL Listed (or CSA Listed) for safety and compliance. Other important considerations are; energy efficiency, minimum maintenance requirements, ease of powering a system, modifications required to your existing roof (if any), references, etc.  A leading concept that checks all the boxes are systems engineered and manufactured by HotEdge, LLC.